§ Jacqui Smith
[holding answer 1 April 2004]: The DTI, alongside a number of other Government Departments, funds the South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA) to catalyse and carry out economic development and regeneration activities in the South East region. Funds are provided to SEEDA as a Single Budget and it is not possible to separate out DTI funded activity within the Agency's work. Activity by the Agency is however very relevant to the DTIs economic development objectives and is an important element of spend in the South Hampshire Priority Area for Economic Regeneration.
SEEDA's priority areas are based on Regional Planning Guidance (RPG) 9. SEEDA has spent some £34 million in 2001–02, £32.6 million in 2002–03, and £20.4 million in 2003–04 in the South Hampshire Priority Area for Regeneration, which for RPG purposes includes Portsmouth, Southampton, Fareham, Gosport, Havant and Eastleigh.
Known allocated spend in 2004–05 will be in the order of £10 million with further expenditure of around £9 million in 2005–06. The amount spent may, however, vary from this, for example, because of land and property spend in 2005–06 for which there is not a current estimate. Future expenditure will be determined through the Area Investment Framework process which the Agency has developed, which defines local priorities and brings together not just SEEDA funding but multiple mainstream funding streams.
Besides this, investment made directly by the Department of Trade and Industry in the area is as follows.89W
A sum of £839,000 has been allocated from the Phoenix Fund for two projects in the area within the period. This grant is not annualised but is drawn down as spent.
Small Firms Loan Guarantee
In addition the Small Firms Loan Guarantee (SFLG) guaranteed 38 loans in the year 2001–02 valued at £2.15 million, 37 loans in 2002–02 valued at £2.9 million and 66 loans in 2003–04 valued at £4 million. These figures do not equate to spend. Government expenditure only arises if there is a subsequent default and the guarantee is called upon. Figures for future years are not available as SFLG is demand led.
Business Link Wessex
Spend in South Hampshire by Business Link Wessex on providing business support to SMEs is approximately £1.3 million per year for the years 2001–02, 2002–03 and 2003–04. Expenditure in 2004–05 will be of the same order. The budget for 2005–06 is not yet firm.